Moving to Australia

Moving and Relocating To Australia - What You Need To Know

Allianz Global Assistance Overseas Health - Moving and Relocating To Australia

You’ve landed that dream job in Australia and you’re ready to make that leap for a new life in a new country.

When you’re moving to Australia from overseas, there are countless things to remember.

Here is a checklist of important things to remember before you arrive.

1. Top Priority - Your Visa

Allianz Global Assistance Overseas Health - Student and Working Visas In Australia

You would have already applied for a job and have arranged sponsorship from your employer, or have satisfied the points requirement.

You can dream and plan all you want, but until you have the correct visa organised, everything else won’t matter.

Any person who is not an Australian citizen requires a visa to enter the country. You will not be permitted to enter Australia to work until your visa is issued and placed into your passport.

After securing a job with an Australian employer that is willing to sponsor you for a 482 Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa, you can work in Australia for any period between one day and four years, depending on the visa stream.

On the 482 TSS visa, you can bring any eligible secondary applicants with you such as a family member or partner, and they can either work or study here.

Allianz Global Assistance Overseas Health - Working Visas In Australia

2. Ensure Your Passport Is Up To Date

Allianz Global Assistance Overseas Health - Indian Passport and Visa For Australia

This may seem a basic recommendation but many people leave it until the last minute to check their passport, only to find it is nearing expiry date, or has expired. Your passport must be valid for the full duration of the visa you are applying for.

If your passport won’t be valid for the time that you need while working in Australia, you will have to apply for a new passport.

As an example, if your work visa has a duration of four years but your passport expires within the next two years, you will need to apply for a new passport.

3. Find Somewhere To Live

Allianz Global Assistance Overseas Health - Finding A Place To Live In Australia

By now, you will know where you want to live. There are some questions you need to ask yourself: will you rent or will you purchase a home before you arrive? Are you happy living in an apartment, or do you need a house with a back yard?

Your sponsor company may provide temporary accommodation for a short period of time once you arrive in Australia, however you need to have an idea of where you want to live, and the costs of living.

realestate.com.au is one website where you’ll find properties for sale and rent in Australia. When you move to a new city and country, you may wish to apply for somewhere to live temporarily until you arrive so you can make more concrete decisions about where you would like to live afterwards. Things to take into account when selecting somewhere to live include where you will be working and access to public transport and major roads.

Before you leave your home country, obtain a reference letter from your property manager or personal reference letter as you may need this when applying for a place to rent in Australia.

Also, budget for a rental property as many rental property managers require two weeks’ rent in advance and four weeks’ equivalent rent as a bond – a total of six weeks’ rent to budget for.

You can find out more about living in Australia by reading our article on tips on renting or sharing a house in Australia.

Allianz Global Assistance Overseas Health - Accommodation in Australia

Other things to consider once you arrive in Australia and find a place to live include:

For more information about the things to do in major Australian cities, see our guides to:

4. Confirm Recognition Of Your Trade Or Qualification

Your qualifications may not be formally recognised here in Australia by the relevant authorities so it’s important that you find out if you will be able to do your usual work here, or if you will need to undertake further education first.

It’s important to check this, even if you have completed the visa application process. Make sure you bring copies of your qualifications, both in hardcopy and digital formats so these can be easily sourced if they are requested.

5. Book Your Flights

Allianz Global Assistance Overseas Health - Flights In Australia

Major airlines usually provide special pricing for migrants entering Australia on one-way tickets. Shop around and you may find that the type of visa on which you are entering is eligible for lower fares. Your sponsor employer may also help fund the cost of these fares.

If you are flying to one of the major capital cities (such as Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, or Adelaide) or regional centres you may be able to find a direct flight. If you are moving to a regional or remote area, you will need to book domestic flights from one of these major hubs.

The major domestic airlines operating in Australia include Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin Australia.

6. Arrange Your Health Insurance

Allianz Global Assistance Overseas Health - International Health Insurance - OSHC and OVHC

If your visa is subject to condition 8501, it is a requirement of your visa that you maintain adequate health insurance during your stay in Australia. If your visa is not subject to condition 8501, it is still recommended that you purchase health insurance because health care costs can be very expensive for people who are not Australian residents. Also, check to see if your country has a Recipricol Health Agreement with Australia.

Allianz Global Assistance Overseas Student Health Cover and Overseas Visitors Health Cover policies are designed for people who are not Australian residents, and covers you for hospital and certain medical expenses if you become sick, injured or pregnant.

When you arrive in Australia, you may be eligible for some Medicare benefits, the federal government’s subsidised public health care system. Your eligibility will depend on a range of factors including your visa type, your residency status and whether you live in a country that has a reciprocal health care agreement with Australia. Medicare can provide information and interpreters in many different languages.

7. Arrange For Shipment Of Your Possessions and Importation Of Pets

Naturally, you will want many of your possessions shipped to Australia so you have familiar, comfortable items of your own in your new home. Allow plenty of time to pack, dispatch and wait for the delivery of your goods in Australia. You will need to be especially aware of any quarantine requirements as there are some items which will be prohibited. Make sure your belongings are moved so they arrive before you in Australia, or soon after you arrive so you are not waiting for too long.

If you are bringing pets to Australia, be aware that Australia has extremely strict quarantine laws. The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources is responsible for issuing permits and imposing quarantine restrictions.

Also consider doing the following:

  • Bring all important documents with you, such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, bank statements and other relevant information you may need to reference in Australia
  • Obtain medical files and prescriptions (eg. from your doctor and dentist) and bring them with you. This will also include immunisation records if you are bringing children
  • Redirect and/or stop your mail
  • Cancel any utilities, insurances or other services you won’t require in your home country
  • Obtain taxation advice from an accountant in your home country to see if there are any implications for earning an income in Australia
  • Inform your solicitor and check/update your will.

8. Prepare Your Financial Situation

Allianz Global Assistance Overseas Health - Preparing Your Finances

You may open a bank account in Australia with a local bank several months prior to your move. Having a bank account ready before you arrive will help ease your transition into the Australian community. Simply contact an Australian bank or financial institution and they can all assist you with opening accounts and making your funds available upon arrival.

You may also need to transfer large sums of money to Australian Dollars (AUD), You can either use a bank, or a specialist foreign exchange broker in your country. It is much safer to transfer funds to your Australian bank account electronically but if you must carry cash on you when you travel, you will need to declare any amount over $10,000 AUD or its foreign currency equivalent to Customs when you enter the country.

You should also consider applying for a tax file number before you arrive from the Australian Tax Office. See more at our article on how to open an Australian bank account.

Advise your bank at home that you will be away for an extended period of time and see if you need to suspend or close your bank accounts. Make sure you pay any outstanding bills that are owed before leaving your country.

Finally, make sure you budget enough money for your move to Australia, as it can be an expensive place to move to.

9. Be Informed - Other Things To Consider

Allianz Global Assistance Overseas Health - Find A Place To Live In Australia
  • Check if your driver’s licence is valid in Australia. Obtain an International Driver’s Permit just in case. Each state and territory in Australia has different road rules.
  • You may need to bring power plug adaptors for your electronics like phone and laptop chargers depending on where you are coming from.
  • Read up on Australian culture before you leave so you have some of idea of some of the Australian customs and pasttimes. This includes the very colourful Australian Slang.
  • Check out forums of people who are living in Australia from your country. You will gain an idea of some of the challenges and cultural differences when moving here.

9-Point Moving To Australia Checklist

Keep the following checklist handy as you make your plans to move to Australia.

  1. Arrange your visa.
  2. Ensure your passport is up-to-date and is valid for the duration of your visa.
  3. Find somewhere to live.
  4. Seek recognition of your trade or qualification.
  5. Book your flights.
  6. Arrange your health insurance.
  7. Arrange for shipment of your possessions and importation of your pets.
  8. Prepare your financial situation.
  9. Be Informed!

Also, see our comprehensive list of useful links and resources for making a start in Australia.

Above all else, look forward to your move to Australia, because you will be arriving in a country that offers wonderful opportunities for your life here.

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